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7 Tips for Taking Better Smartphone Pics

Learn the top tips and tricks for better smartphone photography and be in the running to win a FREE yearly subscription to Digital Photography magazine!

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You’ve been leaving the camera behind and relying on your smartphone to take pictures when you’re out and about, but it’s time to boost the quality of those happy snaps. Plus – check beneath this article to win a FREE yearly subscription to Digital Photography magazine!

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1. TAP SCREEN TO AUTO FOCUS

Tap your thumb or finger on the subject or area where you would like the sharpest focus. When you see the small square appear, you’ve successfully auto-focused on that precise point. It’s as easy as it sounds, and definitely the most efficient way to start taking better quality photos without having to learn all the fancy settings available on your smartphone camera.

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2. USE THE GRID LINES

Amateur photography has come a long way from the old ‘point and shoot’ method. One of the most useful settings on your smartphone camera is the grid lines overlay in view mode, which helps you keep everything straight and/or perpendicular. Ever taken a beautiful landscape pic only to discover the horizon appears wonky? Viewing with the grid lines can prevent that problem. It’s also a useful tool for employing the ‘rule of thirds’ when setting up your photograph.

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3. EMBRACE THE FRONT-FACING CAMERA

Trying to take a photo of yourself (a ‘selfie’) can be a rather awkward exercise, but once you get the hang of it, the front-facing camera is your best friend. You’ll be able to see where the lens is pointing and adjust your aim to the best angle. Keep in mind that the overall quality of this camera tends to be lower than your device’s main camera, so only use it when necessary. You can still enable flash mode to brighten up evening and indoor shots.

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4. GROW YOUR SELFIE STICK CONFIDENCE

Once you’ve mastered the front-facing camera, it’s time to upgrade to the famous selfie stick. Indulgent and touristy? Sure, but these days there are so many selfie sticks waving around that there’s no need to feel embarrassed. You can use it to get the whole family in the frame of those scenic holiday snaps. And, let’s be honest: they’re actually quite fun to play with.

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5. ACTIVATE THE HANDS-FREE VOICE SHUTTER

Some smartphones have a built-in camera that supports voice or sound recognition, so you can take great pics completely hands-free without asking a stranger for help. Perhaps even more importantly, you can use this underrated function to keep your smartphone steady at the critical moment. This is ideal if your device tends to wobble when you press the button manually. If your smartphone doesn’t have this feature, you can install a camera app that does the job.

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6. GO PANORAMIC

Smartphones can do a lot of the things you would expect of a standard digital camera, such as switch to panoramic mode for lovely wide landscapes. This is the ultimate setting for impressive images of sunsets, beaches, mountain ranges, city skylines and more. You might even end up with some pictures worth hanging at home. Just remember panoramas and moving objects – such as the dog chasing a ball – don’t mix. However, a fun trick is to have your model run around the back of you (staying off-screen) and then striking a pose at different points in the pano!

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7. TRY THE BUILT-IN IMAGE EDITOR

Even after you’ve improved your basic camera skills, some photos simply don’t turn out the way you planned. That’s when you turn to your smartphone’s built-in image editor. Forget Photoshop or any other programs you might have heard about; your device already has easy-to-use tools for enhancing the light and colour or applying an interesting filter. Experiment with these settings and upgrade your pics from mediocre to masterpiece.

 

WIN A SUBSCRIPTION TO DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY

 

Want to further improve your digital photography skills? Hyundai is giving away 10 yearly subscriptions to Digital Photography magazine, which is packed full of expert advice and inspiration for photographers of all levels. Simply click here and answer the following question in 150 characters or less to win.

Open to myHyundai members only. Not a member? Register here first and enter.

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